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Aust Fam Physician. 1998 Jan;27 Suppl 1:S39-43.

The impact of a computer generated patient held health record.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Melbourne.



To examine the use and impact of a computer generated, patient held health record (PHR) on information sharing, responsibility sharing and preventive health care.


An academic group, private solo and private group general practice in Adelaide, South Australia.


Patients with chronic health problem(s) were randomly assigned to an experimental control or post test only group. Pre and post intervention data were collected using a standardised audit and abstraction of the patient records into a computer based record system. In addition, patient and doctor questionnaires, telephone follow ups and face to face interviews were conducted.


Patient and GP use of, and satisfaction with the PHR; effectiveness of information and responsibility sharing; and uptake and performance of selected preventive health care by patient and GP.


Seventy-two patients were recruited (29 received the PHR, and 22 each were in the control and post test only groups). The PHR was well received and used in both primary and secondary care settings. No statistically significant differences in the outcome measures were found between the groups as well as before and after the intervention (Kruskal-Wallis, p > 0.05). Data trends suggested that the PHR may increase information and responsibility sharing as well as improve patient awareness of the issues involved, with patient participation in information sharing, preventive health care and clinical decision making. Provided training and resources were made available, participating GPs believed that the computer based methodology developed was a practical option for use in practice.


The computer generated PHR is an important determinant of patient participation in information and responsibility sharing, health promotion, and disease management. Implementation and evaluation studies are recommended.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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